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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2005, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
Mystery donation restores garden
Flower show
The garden was a fine example of the Arts and Crafts movement
A historic garden is to be restored thanks to a gift of 1.6m from a mystery donation.

The anonymous donor has pledged the money to Hidcote Manor Garden in Gloucestershire, created by soldier and explorer Major Lawrence Johnston.

The major, a US citizen travelled extensively during the early part of the 20th Century.

He brought back rare and exotic plants for the garden which, after long neglect, can now be restored.

The estate was given to the National Trust in 1948, but due to lack of funds and historical records it was difficult to maintain the original designs.

'Famous gardens'

The donation, which was given on condition the National Trust matches the amount, will enable experts to restore the garden to its 1930 glory.

National Trust spokesman Alex Brannen said the garden, near Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds, would be re-established as a centre of horticlutural splendour.

"Hidcote is one of the most famous gardens in the world. It is an example of the Arts and Crafts movement and is designed around a series of outdoor rooms."

Mr Brannen said the discovery of some of Major Johnston's original diaries would enable the National Trust to accurately recreate the garden.


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